SAIC to save $100 million through employee cut

McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. said it expects to save $100 million in the next fiscal year through its latest employee reduction.

The company announced last week that it would let 700 employees go — about half of whom are locally based — in an effort to cut costs and remain competitive.

John Jumper, the company’s chief executive, said the reduction will cost about $15 million — mostly in severance pay. The contractor previously had 40,000 full-time employees.

Last week, SAIC reported profit of $112 million (33 cents a share) in the three-month period ended Oct. 31, up from a loss of $89 million (27 cents a share) a year earlier. Quarterly revenue grew 3 percent to $2.87 billion.

The move comes as SAIC is preparing to split itself into two businesses: a government services company and a technology business.

SAIC said the reductions were unrelated to the split, which is slated to be complete by the end of the year.

Lamar Strong loses protest

The Government Accountability Office last month denied a protest filed by Lorton-based Lamar Strong Associates against an award made by the Army to Alexandria-based Systems Kinetics Integration.

Lamar Strong had argued that the selection decision for the contract — which covers services supporting the office of the Army’s deputy chief of staff for programs — was flawed, according to the GAO decision.

The Army rated Lamar Strong’s proposal as unacceptable because the proposed program manager did not meet the position’s minimum requirements.

TASC CEO calls for realism

David Langstaff, president and chief executive of Chantilly-based contractor TASC, strayed from the script last week when he called for industry executives to accept that averting the “fiscal cliff” will likely still require defense cuts.

At an Aerospace Industries Association event, executives spoke of the severe damage that would be caused by the $1 trillion in automatic government spending cuts triggered by sequestration, from eliminating jobs to constraining innovative research.

Langstaff instead called for a more strategic approach. “We need to stop believing — or pretending — that there is a scenario out there that offers no defense cuts,” he said.

Defense industry executives are having “the wrong conversation,” Langstaff added. “We are talking a good game, but are still unwilling to park short-term self-interest.”

Stop that metaphor

With about $1 trillion in automatic government spending cuts set to go into effect in weeks, the Aerospace Industries Association ramped up its rhetoric last week.

At an annual luncheon, Marion Blakey, president and chief executive of the group, said the clock is ticking down. “Not only are we running out of time, we’re running out of metaphors,” she said of sequestration, which has been colorfully referred to as a meat ax, a doomsday mechanism, fiscal castration and a gunshot to the head.

“The time for metaphors, I think, has passed,” Blakey said.

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